By Duchess of Hackney

Hackney livin' n lovin'. Sarky frosty knickers always gobby, and perpetually pissed off for good reasons. Wind up merchant extraordinaire, but a nice old fashioned unusually unusual gal... Writing lots of wrongs.

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My semi obligatory 9/11 post: memories, victims and survivors

Marcy Borders on 9/11 and now with her son

In Dallas a Pakistani shopkeeper, Waqar Hassan and an Indian, Vasudev Patel were not so lucky. There were shot to death by Mark Stroman, who was on a rampage looking for A-rabs, to exact revenge for the September 11 attacks. Stroman was executed this year.

All week long radio stations and television have been gearing up for the 9/11 anniversary, with an almost morbid sense of excitement….there’s no escaping it, but what got me thinking was an email Petrie Hoskins of LBC read out. The woman who sent it, said she had no recollection of that day as she was going through her own personal trauma, that was to define the rest of her own life and only recently saw a documentary of the attack. Until then she had no concept of the enormity of 9/11.

To be honest my memories of that day are a little fuzzy as it was the darndest surreal feeling. I was living in Austin Texas at the time and on that Tuesday morning, was thinking ahead to a hike I was going to make with my dogs and a neighbour and her hounds. As usual I was at my desk in my home office responding to emails  and finalizing that days  appointments for my girls. If you’re not familiar with me or my blog, I ran Escort services in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Texas for over a decade.

I had Yahoo messenger open and a client from San Antonio began chatting, when a friend staying at my home poked his head in to say he was off to work. In total I had one client flying in for business meetings from Colorado another from San Francisco and one from Hawaii who had a convention to attended in San Antonio. There would be others calling and emailing, but these had been booked for days if not weeks.

My back was turned to the TV that was on very low, so I didn’t see or hear the footage when it first came on. It wasn’t until I logged into an escort message forum and saw a post about the first plane, did I turn to the TV.  Soon I was simultaneously exchanging messages with Yahoo man and other members of the escort forum.  It took a while to absorb and even then, I still  wasn’t sure what was happening. When it became clear America was under attack, I feared they may hit Texas next. After all it’s George Bushes home state.  Then my phones began ringing – family and friends from the UK and all over the world.  But I still kept my eyes glued to the TV.

Later that afternoon, my house guest called to tell me he was on his way home. They had called it a day at his office. I ended up not going on the hike, but walking through my neighbourhood instead with the dogs.  There was something very eerie and still in the air and all I could hear, were leaves on trees rustling above me in what was a very quite woodsy area.  I was numb and almost felt like I was floating. It was still too much for me to comprehend.

The client coming in from Hawaii was stuck in Los Angeles, the one from San Francisco was somewhere else but the Colorado fella was going to make it in to see his dream girl, even though the meeting had been called off and even if he ended up in Austin two days late. He had hired a car and was driving in….maybe he was in shock.

I began hearing about the possibilities of Muslims being targeted and although I considered Austin to be cosmopolitan and progressive, it was still Texas and I knew some ignorant bigots couldn’t tell the difference between Indians, Pakistanis, Syrian’s or Lebanese. They don’t realise Sikhs and Hindus aren’t Muslims. To them, they all look the same, they were all A-rabs.

Concerned about an Indian man who owed a motel in a small town outside Austin in the Hill country, I tried calling him several times but got no response. He told me a few days later he had a few problems and even had things thrown at his motel.

In Dallas a Pakistani shopkeeper, Waqar Hassan and an Indian, Vasudev Patel were not so lucky. There were shot to death by Mark Stroman, who was on a rampage looking for A-rabs, to exact revenge for the September 11 attacks.  Stroman was executed this year. Hassan and Patel were killed by a misguided ‘patriot’ criminal, who paid the ultimate for his crime.

Let’s not forget the  innocent civilians that include children who have died as a consequence of America and UK’s decision to invade Iraq. In Afghanistan the death toll of civilians rises everyday, yet there is no annual remembrance for them, no back to back 24 hour TV coverage, no head of states laying wreaths for them and definitely no permanent memorial for them. They shouldn’t be forgotten…theirs lives were as meaningful as every person on those planes and on the ground.

One victim/survivor who made her way out of the North Tower alive, was bank worker Marcy Borders. Marcy is back in the spotlight 10 years after the iconic photo of her covered in dust on the day of the attack, was beamed across the world. Poor Marcy was affected badly and her nightmare continued, dragging her in to depression, alcohol and crack cocaine. Along the way she lost custody of her children. She told the New York Post;

“It was like my soul was knocked down with those towers,” she said.

“My life spiraled out of control. I didn’t do a day’s work in nearly 10 years, and by 2011 I was a complete mess. Every time I saw an aircraft, I panicked. If I saw a man on a building, I was convinced he was going to shoot me.

“I started smoking crack cocaine, because I didn’t want to live.”

In mid-April, Borders said, she hit rock-bottom.

“I knew I’d be dead in weeks unless I did something,” she said.

Today she has completed a rehab program and has her children back. I hope Marcy and everyone else still haunted by that day finds everlasting peace.

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